Students forced to cough up bucks to graduate

As if attending college isn’t expensive enough, some students feel they’re being shaken down for every last dime now that graduation has arrived.

Graduation fees are piled on to students at the end of their final semester, and are usually not included in tuition fees.

San Francisco State charges among the highest of CSU colleges with a $100 graduation application fee. Prospective CSU East Bay graduates must cough up $45, while Fresno State students face $40 fees.

According to the San Francisco State University website, the graduation and filing fee earn students an official graduation evaluation of the progress a student has made toward a baccalaureate degree.

Students are growing more frustrated with dishing out money, especially since many graduates have had to deal with tuition hikes every year they’ve been enrolled.

Cal State East Bay communications student Natalia Aldana told the Oakland Tribune she feels like she is always being charged:

“There is a fee for everything. I think it’s really unfortunate that they have to charge students for everything they do, including graduation.”

In addition to the university commencement, individual departments often hold graduation ceremonies so students can be honored in a more intimate setting.

Once again, more fees.

The psychology department at SF State charges is charging students and their families $85 a ticket for a ceremony aboard a bay yacht. According to the Golden Gate Xpress, one psychology student even tried to organize a separate ceremony — an effort quickly shut down by the department.

Many students and parents are caught off-guard by all of the last-minute fees. The CSU system has long-standing policies that leave the graduation process pricey and complicated. Since tuition fees must be used for actual instruction costs, universities and departments must find money for the graduation ceremonies.

As a result students, departments and student clubs are left to fund raise and sell tickets to cover the costs.